I could not believe my eyes….
My painstakingly crafted vision
My passion for my clients
All of it…copied and imitated almost word for word on another photographer’s website. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this just didn’t feel right.
As entrepreneurs, we face situations that can make us want to shut the doors, keep our hacks to ourselves, and level up the non-compete portion of our contracts. I put my whole heart into my business and loving on my clients, and when I realized what this girl had done, I felt as if someone had just tossed it into the trash.
But once I stepped back, I realized that under my heartache was a burning question: Am I really who I say I am?
As Brené Brown would say, the story I was making up in my head was if I genuinely believed in empowering other #bossbabes, I shouldn’t care if this woman copied me. That if I truly wanted to cheer on and empower other women, I wouldn’t be responding with frustration and bitterness. Was I really just some sort of fraud?
After a few conversations with good friends, I realized that dealing with a copycat is practically a creative entrepreneur’s right of passage. Almost all of my business besties have dealt with imitators. This led me to a few conclusions… Is she copying me? Yes. Is she wrong? Yes. Are my feelings valid? Heck yes. Does dealing with a copier have to be standard procedures? No!….. I don’t think you heard me in the back.
No. Freaking. Way.
I know we can shift our industries away from this common practice because the friendships I have been gifted far outnumber the imitators.
Because I adore the scores of #fempreneurs who genuinely believe in community over competition.
Because my unique voice and my brand of magic are NEEDED at the table.
And my imitator’s own style of creativity is needed too, she just has to find it first.
Maybe you’re reading this and realize you’re guilty of playing the copy cat game. It’s alright.
Friend, there is room at the table and girl I will be the first to pull up a chair for you. But we want you here with YOUR VOICE and YOUR PASSION. There are ways only you can serve your clients and your fellow #girlboss.
So instead of imitating, reach out and ask for help. I’ve got your back girl because I know you have mine. It’s just what we boss babes do.